Teachers Unions Spending Millions on GOP Primaries in 32 States

A new report claims that teachers unions, which are overwhelmingly left-wing, have been spending millions on Republican primaries in recent years, with the campaign stretching across 32 different states.

As Fox News reports, the report from the Daily Signal suggests that various local affiliates of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the National Education Association (NEA) have been increasingly donating more money to Republican primary candidates for state legislatures over the last six years.

“According to databases maintained by Open Secrets and Follow the Money, the largest teachers unions in 32 states have drastically increased donations to Republican state house, assembly, and senate candidates since 2018—donating up to $117,700 to individual candidates in a Republican primary,” the Signal reports.

The donations consistently freeze once the primaries are over, as the teachers unions then shift their support to Democrats in the general election. The latest data from Open Secrets shows that the various combined Political Action Committee (PAC) donations to Democrats by teachers unions in the 2021-2022 election cycle was over $4 million; in the same cycle, Republicans received a mere $24,000 from teachers unions.

“Both unions appear to have adopted a different donation strategy over the last decade: Instead of only investing in Democratic campaigns, they also put money behind the unions’ preferred candidates in Republican primaries,” the Signal notes.

“The unions are terrified that parents are clamoring for more education choice,” said the Heritage Foundation’s Jason Bedrick. “So they’re doing everything they can to stop it.”

In recent years, there has been a growing grassroots movement of parents who support greater parental authority and oversight with regards to the curriculum being taught to their children, particularly regarding the topics of transgenderism and Critical Race Theory (CRT). This movement was sparked during the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, when more parents became aware of far-left indoctrination taking place in public schools due to being to watch their childrens’ education via remote learning as a result of the lockdowns.

This movement, which also touts school choice and support for private schools, has led to numerous parents and conservative candidates sweeping school board elections across the country. It culminated in a red wave which swept Virginia in 2021, electing Republican candidates as Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General in a major upset, as well as flipping control of the State House of Delegates that same year. Pro-parent and conservative school board candidates have continued to fundraise and perform well in local elections in recent years, leading to greater pushback from teachers unions in an effort to maintain teachers’ control over the public education system.

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About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.

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